What's New in *Pay To Play* Trump's World Today? 5/15/2018


What's New in *Pay To Play* Trump's World Today? 5/15/2018

15 May 2018 at 8:00:32 PM

The President* Is Tap Dancing on the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution

Noah Bierman of the Los Angeles Times was particularly curious on this score, and on how this project squares with the president*’s promise not to engage in any new foreign enterprises while he was in office. This was the answer Shah gave him.

“I’ll have to refer you to the Trump Organization.”

Bierman followed up. Here was the next answer.

“You’re asking about a private organization’s dealings that may have to do with a foreign government. It’s not something I can speak to.”

What used to surprise me is that people who before cared about ethical values that said they were religious are all in on supporting unethical behaviour by Trump. No credibility there, eh? 

Emoluments lawsuit to be heard in June 2018.

Michael Cohen, Trump's attorney, asked a Qatari investor for millions of dollars which he said he would pass through to Trump family members. 

Donald Trump's lawyer, Michael Cohen, is facing claims he asked a Middle Eastern official for millions of dollars to give to 'Trump family members' in a meeting at Trump Tower weeks after the president's election victory, DailyMail.com can reveal.

Cohen is alleged to have asked Ahmed Al-Rumaihi, a former diplomat in charge of a $100bn Qatari investment fund, to send 'millions' through him to Trump family members. A source told DailyMail.com that the Qatari said he refused.

Al-Rumaihi on Tuesday issued a statement agreeing that he was at Trump Tower and a source with knowledge of the daysaid that Cohen had 'popped in' briefly to a meeting. Photographs show that he was  part of a group greeted by Cohen, who went up in an elevator with them.

Yeah, sure. . Flynn, who was also at the referenced meeting on December 16, 2016 , is under indictment.  Also interesting that Rick Perry was also there, outside the meeting. 


Contaminiated drinking water near military bases-Trump officials tried to hide it. 

Emails among U.S. government officials show the Trump administration trying to manage a potentially damaging report on a class of chemicals found to have polluted water supplies near U.S. military installations.

The exchanges, sent in January, reveal officials from the Environmental Protection Agency and Office of Management and Budget worrying over a yet-to-be-released study from the Department of Health and Human Services. The draft report from HHS indicated that exposure to the chemicals in question is unsafe in far lower amounts than EPA previously determined.

One OMB official warned of a "public relations nightmare" when the report is released. The emails were unearthed through a Freedom of Information Act request by the Union of Concerned Scientists. Three and a half months later, the report has yet to be made public.

Is China Straight up Bribing Donald Trump?

When Donald Trump announced on Sunday night that he was riding to the rescue of Chinese electronics maker ZTE, more than a few people, including those who work for him, were shocked. For one thing, Trump has long-claimed that China “is raping us” through unfair trade practices, and stealing American jobs. For another, the U.S. and Beijing are currently locked in tense negotiations to avoid a protracted trade war, thanks to the president’s decision to slap Chinese imports with a vast array of tariffs. For yet another, just a month prior, Trump’s own Commerce Department had banned shipments of American technology to ZTE for seven years, saying that the company violated American sanctions against countries including Iran and North Korea and lied about punishing employees for doing so. As a result, ZTE halted major operating activities—an outcome you’d have expected to please the president, considering he’d just he’d just imposed aluminum and steel tariffs on “national security” grounds. So it was a bit odd to see Trump pull a complete 180, suddenly insisting that the company and its 75,000 Chinese jobs must be saved, though to be fair, tweeting “Look, China just pumped $500 million into a Trump Organization project so I had to do them a solid” might not have gone over so well.

Trump's attorney-Pay to Play, including 

Trump has now broken every one of his economic populist promises

Trump also repeatedly promised universal health care. Republicans as a whole had insisted since 2009 that they would replace Obamacare with something better, that did not deny anybody anything, but rather than fuzzing up this promise, like most of his party, Trump leaned heavily and explicitly into the benefits. “Everybody’s gotta be covered. This is an un-Republican thing for me to say … I am going to take care of everybody, I don’t care if it costs me votes or not. Everybody’s going to be taken care of, much better than they’re taken care of now … The government’s going to pay for it.” Instead, he never proposed an alternative to Obamacare, never compromised with Democrats on the issue, and instead sabotaged the existing program. After falling for several years, the uninsured rate is climbing again.

“Draining the swamp” has become a catchall-Republican slogan, like “lock her up,” that basically means doing anything to lash out at Trump’s opponents. During the campaign, though, it had a different and more specific definition. Trump promised to enact reforms to reduce the power of lobbyists and business. He specifically endorsed:

• A constitutional amendment imposing term limits on members of Congress
• A ban on federal employees lobbying the government for five years
• A ban on members of Congress lobbying for five years
• Tighter rules about what constitutes a lobbyist, instead of letting people call themselves consultants
• Campaign finance reform limiting what foreign companies can raise for American political candidates
• A ban on senior government officials lobbying for foreign governments

Trump has not merely forgotten these promises, his administration has embraced Washington sleaze with unprecedented gusto. Not only has he failed to prevent former administration officials from lobbying for foreign governments, he has had current administration officials lobbying for foreign governments. There has never been an American presidency so easily manipulated by domestic and foreign business interests. The most benign explanation for Michael Cohen’s secret payments to his hastily constructed Delaware shell company is that he was a conduit for business interests to buy their way into Trump’s good graces.

[Update] Trump also promised, over and over and over again, to raise taxes on the rich, including on himself. “It’s going to cost me a fortune, which is actually true,” he said. It was not actually true at all.

Trump is not the kind of person that would apologize over a person in his cabinet making a horrible comment about John McCain, who is dying from brain cancer. He is not the kind of moral person I would ever want to emulate. 



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